A Businssman, Communications Expert and Philanthropist
Ben-Marc Diendéré arrived in Quebec at the age of 25, following the completion of not only one, but two master’s degrees abroad. He is a graduate of the Sorbonne-ASSAS Paris 2 and the French Press Institute in Paris. Mr. Diendéré also graduated from HEC Montréal in Management of Cultural Organizations. Since then, he has worked with Quebec organizations as a manager and specialist in communications, public affairs and corporate image. Today, he holds the position of Senior Vice-President at La Coop fédérée, the leading Agri-Food group in Quebec and second in Canada. This leader in business and communications is distinguished by his skill and ability in communications, as well as his involvement in mentorship, outreach and philanthropy. Finally, he sits on the boards of numerous organizations with parallel values and interests to his, including the Université de Montréal and the Conseil des Arts. He was appointed by the Government of Quebec to join the very select Advisory Committee on Economics and Innovation.
« I’m lucky. Lucky to have the career I have, to be surrounded by benevolent people and lucky for the path I’ve had, but I also know that I have worked hard to be where I am today and I continue to do so! I love education. »
Originally from Burkina Faso, Ben-Marc Diendéré joined La Coop fédérée in 2011 as Director of Communications following a remarkable career in upper management at Quebecor Media Inc. Today, he is the Senior Vice-President of Quebec’s largest Agri-Food organization, which owns large companies such as Olymel, BMR and La Coop Agricultural Division, and is owned by more than 90,000 members across 72 cooperatives. The business is valued at $6 billion. Prior to this corporate success, this man of ambition moved up the ranks of Quebecor Media Inc., Quebec’s largest media and content group, from 2005 to 2011. His hard work led him to the position of Senior Director, Institutional Relations, Public and Corporate Affairs.
« When I look where I come from, having studied under lampposts, without running water until the age of 12, being where I am today… It’s a miracle! »
Q : What management approach do you recommend?
A : Per Abraham Maslow, “it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” That being said, I am an enthusiast for participatory and motivational management. I steer my management approach to ensure that my employees always want to outdo themselves at work, be more productive and develop a sense of belonging with the large cooperative that employs us.
Q : Who was your greatest mentor?
A : My greatest mentor in Quebec is Pierre Lampron. Former president of the Société de Développement des Entreprises Culturelles (SODEC) and former director of Telefilm Canada’s office in Paris, Pierre Lampron has thorough experience as a director, among other roles in the political world. He has also held key positions at Quebecor Media and some of its subsidiaries, where I had the opportunity to work with him. This great man has always inspired me and above all, has taught me so much! In my head, my greatest mentors remain Mandela, Maya Angelou and especially my mother.
Education, a Key Role in Any Achievement
After completing a master’s degree in Management and Marketing at the Sorbonne and a master’s degree in Sociology of Information and Communication from the University of Ouagadougou, Ben-Marc Diendéré pursued his studies in Montreal with Management of Cultural Organizations at HEC Montréal. Ben-Marc Diendéré worked at Synergie Paris as public relations manager, at the Société de Développement des Entreprises Culturelles du Quebec (SODEC) and at the International Partnership as an international project manager, before joining the senior management teams of Quebecor Media and then La Coop fédérée.
Solidarity with Burkina Faso
The philanthropist is committed to increasing the economic power of youth and women from around the world. In March 2016, Ben-Marc Diendéré chaired the event Solidarity with Burkina Faso, hosted by the Center for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI) and organized in support of women’s entrepreneurship. He has also been honorary president for various organizations including Diapason jeunesse, spokesperson (theater company documentary), Journées de la culture and the Quebec Association of Sickle Cell Anemia. In addition to his many social efforts, the vice-president is also an advocate for arts, culture and technology.
Integration, an Exchange of Promises
For this Québécois with multiple interests and involvements, identity is built around a personality, an experience and not a pigmentation. “Identity is built on several levels, and it is, among other things, the result of profound human connections,” explains Ben-Marc Diendéré. “My identity is that of a Quebecer, particularly a Montrealer of African descent. For this citizen of the world, to feel integrated is to feel safe, but it is also an exchange of promises. On the one hand, Quebec promises to those it receives to be a land of hospitality and prosperity, and on the other, the newcomers promise to give the best of themselves, so that society ultimately benefits.”